Friday, August 7, 2009

The Hot Flash Mob: Corporate PsyOps Punks Them Again

Dang, there everybody was, grooving mindlessly on Michael Jackson's funeral concert that seemed tacitly underwritten by Big Pharma and then the next week, BAM, it seemed like the sky opened up and dumped out a couple busfuls of angry old white women on Medicare gesticulating wildly about not wishing to be euthanized. There have been fisticuffs. Letters and birth certificates have been faked. Birth certificate enthusiasts have been punked. Former officials whose diplomatic brief once included psyops to destabilize undesirable foreign governments have looked straight into the cameras of all networks, and refused to correct things they knew to be false.

If it feels to you at times that some unseen hand is working to de-stabilize the current administration, you could be right. Sadly, it's another case of the educated people messin' with the uneducated people, bigtime.

It's no accident the television machine is now and then suddenly overrun with pasty white ladies from the deep South screaming that they want their country back, convinced they are about to be euthanized. And they seem to be just now getting the old 2003 memo that a president has the power to view any private email he wishes. So why the sudden hot-flash mob?

Within weeks of the September 11, 2001 events, somebody posted excerpts from the 1979 Army Field Manual on PsyOps on a highly trafficked conservative rightwing website, saying that terrorists were already using these techniques and therefore the conservative "grassroots" machine should also. These techniques are nothing knew; political folk have used them for years, since so many are former military folk.

This is straight from the Army mule's mouth:
"Insinuation is used to create of stir up the suspicions of the target audience against groups or ideas, or individuals in order to divide an enemy. . . Latent suspicions and cleavages within the enemy camp are expoited in an attemtp to structure them into active expressions of disunity which weaken. . ."

These techniques include taking advantage of "exploitable vulnerabilities," such as ethnic and regional differences, religious, political, economic, or social differences. Those nasty emails about how fine the president's wife's wardrobe is, could register as "comforts available to rear area soldiers and not available to combat area soldiers" if lobbed electronically like little predator drones into the hills of West Virginia. And let's not forget that golden oldie, "Unequal or inequitable tax burdens, or the high level of taxes." The sky's not even the limit here, potential-wise: "A photograph, picture, or cartoon can often insinuate a derogatory charge more effectively than words...selected and composite photographs can be extremely effective." Then there's the "transfer" technique, which is what you do when "mistakes were made," but you need to convince the people that someone else did it besides you. There are infinite pdf files of these manuals all over the web, shared as easily as a handshake at church. Some of these people have been at this for decades. We got the whole human smorgasbord of evil here: the demonization technique, the selective omission technique, the malicious rumor technique, with the noteworthy addition of "lying," which the field manual expressly and ostentatiously and pompously forbids: this technique will not be used by U.S. personnel.

Twitter makes it possible to apply fresh electrical impulses into the cerebral cortexes of all the little old ladies at regularly timed intervals: Medicare for old ladies is not socialized medicine. Free medical care for infants is.

Describing one of the mobs that disrupted a scheduled discussion of healthcare reform proposals Paul Krugman wrote in today's New York Times, "An activist turned to his fellow attendees and asked if they “oppose any form of socialized or government-run health care.” Nearly all did. Then Representative Green asked how many of those present were on Medicare. Almost half raised their hands."

Coverage of these events yesterday focused not on what's in the actual proposal. Instead the cameras lingered long on the jiggling flesh of the gesticulating underarms when these old ladies started their gesticulating. The horror! The horror! Uncoolness! Cue Colbert and Jon Stewart! The Right knows that the Left will fall for it every time, and shift its news coverage to whatever's uncool. And once the opportunity for parody and cute t-shirts has been addressed, the Left will mistake its activity for an adequate response. The Right knows the Left, very well, intimately, which is why the Right seem to be winning the healthcare PsyOps war right now, still tacitly underwritten by Big Pharma.

Except for Rachel Maddow, who ain't buyin' it: